Busy Intersection to be Made Safer
Wilmington Motorists will see a new flashing signal at the intersection of N.C.133 and Blackwell Road in Leland/Belville starting Tuesday, Aug. 4, as the N.C. Department of Transportation prepares to fully activate the new traffic signal the following week, weather permitting.
As part of what is often referred to as the Leland Causeway Bridge Project, the new signal is expected to improve safety by controlling traffic at the N.C.133 and Blackwell Road intersection. Currently traffic on Blackwell Road has to stop, while traffic on N.C. 133 continues through the intersection.
The new signal will flash red for drivers on Blackwell Road, requiring them to come to a complete stop and wait for traffic to clear before proceeding through the intersection. The signal will flash yellow for drivers on N.C. 133, advising them to proceed with caution when going through the intersection. Having the signal remain in flash mode for approximately seven days will give drivers the chance to acclimate to a new and safer intersection, as well as provide engineers with an opportunity to test the equipment. Weather permitting, the signal will be fully activated and operate regularly starting at 5 a.m. Tuesday, Aug. 11.
Although this new signal marks a milestone in the Leland Causeway Bridge Project, construction will continue well into next year. Once completed in November 2016, there will be three lanes in each direction on U.S. 17/74/76, between the U.S. 421 exit ramps and the N.C.133 exit, with a third lane dropping/adding at the U.S. 421 ramps and the exit to N.C. 133/Village Road in Leland. This change will reduce congestion at this location by providing an additional lane for ramp traffic to merge into the through lanes.The project is expected to also eliminate the bottle neck at the U.S. 421 South ramp onto east and westbound U.S. 17/74/76.
The Causeway Bridge Project also features a Diverging Diamond Interchange on N.C.133/Village Road which will reduce congestion by allowing traffic to keep moving through the intersection. This unique interchange will improve safety by allowing free flowing turns when entering and exiting the interstate, eliminating the need to turn left against oncoming traffic, and limiting the number of signal cycles traffic has to go through. Diverging Diamond Interchanges are easier to navigate and provide better visibility at turns, which results in fewer crashes.
Motorists are advised to use caution while traveling in the area and to expect delays. NCDOT reminds motorists to watch signs for construction information, stay alert and obey the posted speed limit.
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